President Trump appeared to go after Rod Rosenstein on Twitter on Friday, accusing the deputy attorney general of taking part in the Russia investigation “witch hunt.”
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted.
While Trump did not identify Rosenstein by name, the former U.S. attorney, whom Trump nominated, is overseeing the ongoing Russia probe.
That investigation, which is being run by special counsel Robert Mueller, has expanded to include not just potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin, but potential obstruction of justice by Trump for his decision to fire Comey. (RELATED: Rosenstein Warns Americans To Be Skeptical Of Anonymous Sources)
Rosenstein appointed Mueller, Comey’s predecessor and friend, to direct the investigation last month. Comey was canned on May 9.
After meeting with Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions ahead of Comey’s outster, Rosenstein wrote a letter dinging Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
The White House cited that recommendation as justification for firing Comey, who took over as FBI chief in 2013.
While Trump claimed Friday that Rosenstein told him to fire Comey, the Republican has said in interviews that he had long planned to make the decision. He also praised Rosenstein in an interview after Comey was let go. (RELATED: Trump: ‘I Was Going To Fire Comey Regardless’)
“What I did is I was going to fire Comey, my decision. I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt.
“I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”
“He made a recommendation,” he said of Rosenstein. “He’s highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy. The Democrats like him, the Republicans like him.”
Trump’s tweet on Friday follows hours after Rosenstein issued a press release warning Americans to not trust news reports based on anonymous sources.
“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,” Rosenstein said in a statement issued through the Justice Department.
“Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”
That statement came just after reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s Russian business dealings.